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Remembrance Day, Family, and Poker

I had the day off of work yesterday in honour of Remembrance Day. I feel a little guilty having taken the day off without doing anything to remember the veterans who fought and died for my freedom. I was at home taking care of both of my boys, one sick with a mild fever. Despite the fact that I was watching Disney's Cars during the minute of silence, I am infinitely grateful for all that everyone has sacrificed to keep the True North safe, strong, and free for me and my family. I really did enjoy spending the day relaxing with my wife and kids.

I managed to play a couple good sessions of poker at Stars yesterday. Overall I had a great time despite the fact that a PokerStars pop-up banner gave away the ending of the WSOP Main Event before I'd had a chance to watch the two-hour special. I tried to watch the entire broadcast on Tuesday night but got too tired to finish it. I might have continued watching had Phil Ivey won his AK vs. AQ match-up against Moon. I wasn't all that anxious to watch a bunch of (relative) nobodies duke it out for the top prize in poker.

Stars made up for the spoiler by presenting me with a large number of great 6-max limit hold'em games. I've managed to keep my head above water in these games despite my constant missteps. I may even introduce a third table to the mix very soon to help me grind out the VPPs a little faster.

After shutting things down last night, I was sitting at 477 VPPs cleared this month. I need to clear another 723 VPPs to get SilverStar status and order my $250 FutureShop gift certificate (15,000 FPPs). And I'm only about 1300 VPPs from clearing my $100 bonus. I'm actually hoping that Stars comes out with another bonus to celebrate (spoiler!) Cada's WSOP win! The rake taken out of the short-handed limit hold'em games makes it very hard to beat the game without rakeback or bonuses. I'll have to move back to Full Tilt should Stars be unable to provide further incentives for me to remain an active 6-max LHE player at Stars.

I mentioned that I'm still making some pretty big mistakes at the tables. I'm not too surprised by my shortcomings: I've played less than 5,000 hands of 6-max LHE in my lifetime. Here are some of the hands from yesterday's sessions that had me a guessing. Feel free to chime in on with any advice or criticism.


PokerStars $1/$2 Limit Hold'em - 5 players - View hand 364930
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is UTG with A of spades T of clubs
Hero raises, 2 folds, SB calls, 1 fold

(SB is 69/0/0.7 over 50 hands or so.)

Flop: (5 SB) 4 of clubs 4 of hearts T of hearts (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets, SB calls

Turn: (3.5 BB) K of spades (2 players)
SB bets, Hero calls

(SB coming to life on the turn is a little disconcerting given his low aggression. But with the possible flush and straight draws on the board, I decided to peel one off.)

River: (5.5 BB) Q of hearts (2 players)
SB bets, Hero folds

(Was there a 6:1 chance of me being ahead on the river? I didn't think so. I hate folding on the river. I think this was a good fold.)

Final Pot: 5.5 BB



PokerStars $1/$2 Limit Hold'em - 5 players - View hand 364942
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is UTG with K of spades A of spades
Hero raises, 1 fold, BTN calls, SB calls, 1 fold

Flop: (7 SB) 3 of clubs 9 of spades K of clubs (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets, BTN calls, SB calls

Turn: (5 BB) 4 of spades (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets, BTN calls, SB raises, Hero calls, BTN calls

(SB was 39/0/0.8. Despite having a strong hand, I felt that a 3-bet on my part would have lead to the turn being capped by a hand that had me beat and folding out the SB's hands that I beat. I didn't have any reads on the button but he wasn't the one raising my bet.)

River: (11 BB) 4 of hearts (3 players)
SB bets, Hero calls, BTN calls

(Probably beat...but getting 12:1.)

Final Pot: 14 BB

BTN mucks 3 of spades 8 of spades (WTF?!)
SB shows 9 of diamonds 9 of clubs (a full house, Nines full of Fours)
Hero mucks K of spades A of spades



PokerStars $1/$2 Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 364945
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is BB with 6 of hearts 4 of hearts
1 fold, MP raises, 1 fold, BTN calls, SB calls, Hero calls

Flop: (8 SB) 5 of hearts 9 of hearts 8 of spades (4 players)
SB checks, Hero checks, MP checks, BTN bets, SB calls, Hero calls, MP folds

(I had a pretty good hand. Rather than check-raise, I opted to flat the bet hoping to suck in the MP. I probably should have check-raised with the SB stuck between me and the button.)

Turn: (5.5 BB) 9 of clubs (3 players)
SB checks, Hero checks, BTN bets, SB folds, Hero calls

River: (7.5 BB) 4 of clubs (2 players)
Hero bets, BTN folds

(I intended this river bet to be a value bet. I would have folded to a raise. But in all honesty, I have a funny feeling that I was trying to bluff with the best hand.)

Final Pot: 7.5 BB



PokerStars
$1/$2 Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 364951
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is SB with 8 of clubs J of clubs
1 fold, MP calls, 1 fold, BTN calls, Hero calls, BB checks

Flop: (4 SB) T of clubs 3 of diamonds Q of clubs (4 players)
Hero checks, BB checks, MP checks, BTN bets, Hero calls, BB calls, MP calls

(BTN is 29/0/0.6. I wanted to keep as many people in the pot as possible at this point.)

Turn: (4 BB) 7 of clubs (4 players)
Hero checks, BB bets, MP folds, BTN raises, Hero 3-bets, BB folds, BTN caps!, Hero calls

(Not a big fan of button capping the turn given his stats.)

River: (13 BB) 4 of clubs (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN bets, Hero calls

(The river card scared me. I was worried that the button was holding a better flush. Pretty silly, I think. A bet/call was probably a better line since button could check it down if the fourth flush card scared him.)

Final Pot: 15 BB

BTN shows 6 of clubs 9 of clubs (a flush, Queen high)
Hero shows 8 of clubs J of clubs (a flush, Queen high - Jack higher)

Hero wins 14.5 BB


I've been strongly considering picking up Borderlands for my PS3 but my recent enjoyment of poker has staid my hand. I'm focused on putting in some volume at the tables. The only goals I'm working towards right now are earning my SilverStar by month's end and continuing to improve my limit hold'em game. I'd be pretty happy to be playing $2/$4 by year's end if at all possible.

Have a good one!

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